Tech school plaque on a work bench

Art Technician Bootcamp

Art technician training provided by Coventry University, in partnership with some of the region’s leading arts and cultural organisations.

Dates

21 November 2022 – 17 February 2023

Face-to-face attendance 28 November - 9 December (Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm)
Work shadowing start dates can be negotiated

The deadline for applications is 9am on Monday 14 November 2022. Please see the How to apply section for further details.

Venue

Online, Number 2 Croft Road (former IKEA building) & site visits to Coventry cultural institutions.

Qualification

Upon successful completion of this course, students will receive a Certificate of Attendance from Coventry University.

What’s more, your training will give you the basic skills you need to consider pursuing work as an Art Technician and the confidence to explore the role of the technician further.

Fees

This course is funded by West Midlands Combined Authority and is free for eligible applicants. Learners will receive an allowance of up to £20 per day to support travel and subsistence, applicable for the face-to-face sessions and contingent on attendance.

Course overview

Our Art Technician Boot Camp is designed to support best practice in the presentation, handling and installation of artworks and artefacts – from painting and sculpture, to film and digital art, this training provides the skills to work across the arts and cultural sector here in the West Midlands and beyond.

Led by Coventry University and supported through the West Midlands Combined Authority, the aim of the course is to provide a high standard of professional training to support employment in the arts and cultural sector. Following Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture and the central role of culture in staging the Commonwealth Games, the need for skilled art technicians in our region is greater than ever.

The course is open to aspiring and early-career technicians as well as those looking to upskill and reskill from other sectors such as carpentry or theatre. It provides a comprehensive introduction to the varied role of the art technician, responding to the widening range of digital media and approaches to display.

Covering the basics of art handling alongside digital, audio-visual and carpentry skills, the course supports learners through a combination of theory and practical sessions. Taking place within the former Ikea building, participants will “learn through doing” by working at a venue that will soon be transformed into a home for some of the nation’s most important art collections.

On successful completion of the practical course, participants will undertake placements within a gallery, museum or related cultural setting, shadowing the technical teams responsible for delivering key exhibitions and caring for significant collections. Our dedicated network of arts and cultural sector employers for the Art Technician Bootcamp include:

  • Arts Council Collection (national)
  • The Herbert Art Gallery (Coventry)
  • Ikon Gallery (Birmingham)
  • Mead Gallery (Warwick Arts Centre)
  • The New Art Gallery (Walsall)

The West Midlands region has 113 galleries and museums, over 10500 heritage sites and buildings, and a growing demand for arts and cultural activity across our towns and cities; our Art Technician Bootcamp provides an opportunity for new art technicians to gain the specialist experience required to secure work in some of the UK’s most exciting spaces and places.

This training provides a foundation to build upon. Upon completion, learners will be supported to gain further hands-on experience and continue to develop transferable skills needed for a career in the creative industries.

  • Week One - Introduction - Skills and The Technician’s Toolkit (Guided learning online)

    21 November - 25 November 2022

    2 hours each evening - 6 - 8pm Mon - Fri

    We will introduce the course and familiarise ourselves with the role of the art technician over the week with guided online learning sessions and self-guided research into the basic skill sets required to be an art technician. These sessions will ensure you are confident when we put these skills to the test in the next two weeks of practical learning. Topics covered include how to measure and use a drill properly, different types of fixings, and how to pack, move and install artworks. We will also cover the fundamentals of art technical work in preparation for weeks two and three.

    Weeks Two & Three - The Fundamental Art Technical Skill Set - practical learning (Onsite)

    28 November - 2 December and 5 - 9 December 2022

    9am - 5pm, Mon - Fri

    Showcase: Wednesday 7 December 6 - 8pm

    These two weeks of practical experiences will put into practice the fundamentals of art technical work; manual handling, handling art works, condition checking and reporting, packing art and objects, installing art, planning projects, and maintenance. We will touch on more intensive skill sets such as how to make plinths and build walls, look at the installation of digital and audio-visual artwork, and the importance of lighting. This will culminate in a showcase exhibition attended by prospective employers from West Midlands galleries and museums, and where you can demonstrate industry-standard skills and readiness for future employment. Our employers have helped to shape the programme, offering work shadowing and future employment opportunities.

    Week Four & Five - Employability Training

    Weeks of the 12 and 19 December

    • CV writing and enhancing – with a focus on your personal profile, transferable skills, and highlighting individual strengths
    • LinkedIn and social media - setting up your LinkedIn profile and using it effectively
    • Job applications – how to search for and find jobs, how to apply and answer questions, learning from every application, developing a portfolio CV
    • Interviews – how to prepare, online interviews, question types, different styles of interviews, relaxation techniques, body language, post-interview support
    • Self-employment – registering as self-employed in the UK, managing tax and self-assessment

    * If you're claiming benefits, the course and placement will count against your 16-week retraining allowance, but the wraparound support will not

    Week Six to Eleven – Work Shadowing and Mentoring

    Weeks of the 2 January through to 6 February 2023

    Learners will be paired with an employer who will host the learners for 35 hours, either for one entire week or spread over a number of weeks.

    Cultural institutions around Coventry will host you at their workplaces where you will shadow staff members to give you a deeper understanding of the organisation and the role of an art technician. It will build on the fundamentals you learned during the first three weeks and will give you real world experiences to develop your understanding of the role of the art technician and help to start form relationships to strengthen employment opportunities in the future.

    Week Twelve - Art Technician Symposium (Online)

    Week commencing 13 February 2023 (date TBC)

    A day-long symposium about the role of the art technician and the changing needs of the arts and cultural sector, attended by an audience of employers, funders, educators and policy makers. Topics include, future training and development, professional standards and career progression, pay and working conditions.

  • The main concern when working with art and artefacts is their safety - when art handling we are risk managers. The aim of the training is to minimise the risks involved in the handling of artworks and objects, and to those handling them. The handling of works of art and valuable, fragile and unique objects requires a specialist approach, with careful planning, proper resources and training.
    The range of activities required when handling works of Art, are as follows:

    • Confident, accurate and safe handling of artwork
    • Safe and secure movement of artwork
    • Safe and secure storage of artwork
    • Packing and protection of artwork
    • Safe and secure installation of artworks
    • Knowledge of different material and media and how best to display them

    Additional activities covered as part of the advanced modules include:

    • Building temporary walls and spaces
    • Installing digital, audio-visual and media artworks
    • Lighting artworks
    • Applicants must demonstrate an interest in working in the arts and creative industries
    • Some technical experience would be an advantage, e.g. competency with hand/power tools
    • Applicants should be available to attend the complete course, from 21 November 2022 - 17 February 2023
    • Applicants should be available to attend all face-to-face sessions 28 November - 9 December (Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm)
    • Applicants will need to have regular access to a desktop or laptop computer with an internet connection
    • Applicants should be committed to securing a job interview by the end of March 2023, moving into/returning to a role in the arts and culture industry or completing relevant paperwork to become self-employed and securing their first project work within 6 months after completing the course

    Note: Are you aware that you can only participate in one Skills Bootcamp during the fiscal year running from April 2022 to March 2023? While you can apply for more than one Bootcamp, should you be offered multiple places, you may accept only one.

  • To be eligible to join this course applicants must meet all the following criteria:

    • must be aged 19 or older
    • have the right to work in the UK. This can be checked on gov.uk/prove-right-to-work
    • meet residency requirements - applicants should be UK nationals or other person with a right to live and work in the UK without any immigration restrictions who have been ordinarily resident in the UK, or the British Overseas Territories, or the Crown Dependencies (Channel Islands and Isle of Man) for at least the previous 3 years on the first day of learning.

    Note: If you are unsure if you meet residency criteria, please refer to the information provided on the AEB Funding Rules page.

    • residing in Coventry or Birmingham areas and able to provide evidence of current address
    • Agree to provide mandatory personal data and supplementary information on their employment outcomes for up to 8 months following completion of the Skills Bootcamp

    Be either

    • unemployed within the last 12 months, or
    • career changers/returners/redeployed, or
    • employed/self-employed, or
  • As a free course with places limited to 20, our application process will ensure the training is made available to those who will benefit most from the opportunity.

    To apply please complete all steps below:

    If you are required to hold a Visa to work in the UK you will be asked to evidence of your right to work in the UK with a "right to work share code". If possible, please obtain this code before submitting your application via the government website.

    • Download, sign (electronic or wet signature) and return a copy of the Learner Declaration via e-mail to ad7523@coventry.ac.uk before the application deadline.
    • Prepare documents to evidence your identity and age, current address, residency and right to work in the UK. The acceptable forms of ID and documentation to evidence all the above are below:
      • Identity and age - Valid passport. A photo driving licence. A proof of age card such as the PASS card from the national Proof of Age Standards Scheme.
      • Current address - Valid UK driving licence. Recent utility bill (gas, electricity, water, or landline phone) Council tax bill. Recent credit card or bank statement.
      • Continuous residency - Documentary evidence of continuous residence in the UK – find a list of accepted documents here.
      • Right to work in the UK:
        • If you are British and hold UK or Irish Citizen passport or Irish passport card your will not need to provide any additional evidence for this. Right to work share code.
        • If you are required to hold a Visa to work in the UK you will be asked to evidence of your right to work in the UK with a "right to work share code". If possible, please obtain this code before submitting your application via the government website.

    The deadline for applications is 9am on Monday 14 November 2022. We’ll contact selected applicants by the end of the day on Wednesday 16 November to arrange a short online call to check eligibility.

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